About us

Spay and Neuter Syracuse was founded by the Syracuse Onondaga Cat Council. The Council was comprised of local veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians, rescuers, and concerned citizens who banded together in an effort to address the animal overpopulation problem in Central New York.

Spay and Neuter Syracuse is a non-profit low-cost spay and neuter clinic devoted to the sterilization of homeless animals and pets belonging to people of low income in the Central New York area. SANS first opened its doors on November 13, 2005. It is the first and only low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Onondaga County.

Our mission is to provide low-cost spay and neuter services for low income household pets, students, veterans, and animal rescuers in the Syracuse area.

This will be accomplished by:


1. Performing high quality sterilization surgeries for dogs and cats to prevent homeless animals from being born.

2. Educating the public about dog and cat overpopulation, sterilization, and responsible animal ownership.

3. Providing exemplary services that are low-cost for financially disadvantaged families by caring, friendly and professional staff.

Today, SANS Clinic continues to grow operating 3-5 days per week performing between 18 and 25 surgeries each day.

At SANS, our Board of Directors is involved in all aspects of the organization. The Board is all-volunteer and provides experience needed to achieve the strategic goals of the SANS organization as defined by the mission statement.

Board President

Michael Moynihan, D.D.S

Michael joined the Board of Directors at SANS in 2010.  He has many years of experience working as a cat rescuer and volunteer with shelters, veterinarians, and humane law enforcement officers. Presently he is working with KittyCorner of CNY, the Cortland SPCA, and as a supporter of Big Cat Rescue (Tampa Florida). Michael has a B.A. in Biology from Dowling College and experience as both a science tutor and as a veterinary assistant. He received his DDS and post-doctoral training at Columbia University where he was involved with physiology research and, eventually teaching. After moving to Syracuse in 1995, he joined the Medical Education Department of St. Joseph’s Hospital where he volunteers his time teaching and serving as an advisor the residents in the clinic. Michael is in private practice with Endodontics Associates as a root canal specialist.

Vice President

Karen Storne

Karen joined the Board of Directors at SANS in 2011 and serves as Vice President.  Karen primarily manages the grant and fundraising committees at SANS, including the annual PAWCASSO event. She has worked in Environmental Consulting for over 25 years and is currently a Technical Associate at O’Brien & Gere Engineers. She has a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Syracuse University and a degree in Respiratory Therapy from Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. Karen has been involved in volunteering with animal welfare organizations for the last twelve years and served as Chairperson of the Bone Appétit event, raising over $17,000 for the Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association. Karen has also completed courses at the Veterinary Technology Distance Learning Program at Purdue University in order to gain knowledge in the animal care field. She attended the 2010 Best Friends No-More-Homeless conference in Las Vegas and met with the Mayor’s Alliance in New York City in 2010. Karen believes in giving back to the community through the promotion of animal welfare and has a special interest in diminishing the overall mental and physical suffering of abandoned companion animals.


Peggy Ries

Peggy joined the Board of Directors at SANS in 2015 after several years as a volunteer involved in marketing and communications for PAWCASSO. Peggy is a passionate advocate for animal welfare, social justice, and environmental causes. She began working at her dad’s advertising agency at an early age, and she now has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and communications. As Marketing Manager at Barton & Loguidice she oversees marketing production and proposal development for the 250+ person engineering, planning, environmental science and landscape architecture firm. She previously served as secretary and board member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), and on the board of Save the County (now Central New York Land Trust).


Christine Dillingham

Christine joined the Board of Directors at SANS in 2011 as Treasurer.  She is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York and earned her B.S. in Accounting from Le Moyne College.  Christine has over 12 years of accounting and auditing experience and is currently employed at EMPOWER as their Financial Controller.  Previous employment includes Financial Controller at BITZER Scroll, Inc., Audit Manager at Ernst & Young, LLP in Syracuse and Controller at Marquardt Switches, Inc. in Cazenovia.

Board Member

Dan McClung

Dan joined the Board of Directors at SANS in 2012. He has been fundraising for Spay and Neuter Syracuse since the first PAWCASSO event in 2007 and his involvement has grown over the years to include development of a computerized event management system, training and coordination of volunteers, and automating registration and checkout.  Dan earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from RIT and his MS in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University. Dan is also a graduate from the Advanced Course in Engineering from Syracuse University. He has 15 years of engineering experience in a variety of applications including building systems, medical devices, industrial controls, and embedded systems. He is currently a senior systems engineer at INFICON working with remote imaging technology for industrial applications.   Previous employment includes senior engineer at GE Inspection Technologies working with remote imaging technology for industrial applications.

Board Member

Christine Flemming

Christine joined the SANS Board of Directors in 2019 after years of using their services through CNY Cat Coalition. Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, she attended LeMoyne College to earn a B.S. in Accounting. Christine has dedicated the last few years to promote animal welfare within the community. She spends her free time rescuing helpless kittens and finding forever homes throughout New York. Christine volunteers each month to make “Meals that Heal” dinners at the Ronald McDonald House and volunteered at Crouse Hospital & The Samaritan Center. Christine loves to give back to the community while making a positive impact. 

Board of Directors

Office Manager

Ellen Rood

Ellen joined the SANS staff in early 2014. Ellen has received her bachelor's degree in Organizational Management from Keuka College. Ellen previously worked as the marketing manager for The Mission Restaurant. She loves working alongside her amazing SANS team to provide low-cost spay and neuter for the community she grew up in. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, reading, traveling and volunteering for events benefiting local rescue animal groups. She has two rescue cats, Mila and Iggy.

Marketing Coordinator

MaryKay Tracy

MaryKay joined the SANS team in 2018. She has worked in the animal field since 1992 starting in the pet trade field.  In 1997 she owned a pet store where she wanted to make sure people were getting healthy pets.  In 2002 she started at Chittenango Animal Hospital as a receptionist/vet assistant. During her time at Chittenango Animal Hospital she grew passionate about client education and low stress handling. As the marketing coordinator, she hopes to continue client education and spread awareness of the many benefits of spay/neuter.

Licensed Veterinarian

Heidi Heinzerling, D.V.M.

Dr. Heinzerling received her B.S. and D.V.M. degrees from Cornell University and has worked in many aspects of veterinary medicine including as a bovine practitioner, a regulatory racetrack veterinarian and as a wildlife vet at a jungle wildlife refuge in Bolivia where she continues to work with mostly pumas and jaguars. Over the years, she has developed a deep fondness and fascination for felines, big and small, and is an advocate for the conservation of large wild felids worldwide. She particularly enjoys surgery and is delighted to be able to work at SANS, where she has worked since 2014. Dr. Heinzerling has also spent many years traveling and working overseas, mainly in Central Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand and has worked not only as a veterinarian but as a mountain guide in Patagonia, a trail ride guide in the Australian Outback, an actress and as a Spanish/English translator. Her hobbies are anything that involves mountains.

Director of Clinic Operations

Laura B. Cook, D.V.M.

Dr. Cook is a 1989 graduate of The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. She has been in small animal practice in Chittenango since graduation, and has strong interests in surgery and behavior. She has been at SANS since 2013, and is a former member of the Board of Directors and currently oversees clinic operations. She is also on-site supervisor of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society exhibit at the New York State Fair, is a member of two community bands and is very active in her church. She was awarded Veterinarian of the Year in 2015 by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Her involvement with animals dates back to childhood, and includes horseback riding, showing dogs in obedience, wildlife rehabilitation, and sharing her life with countless cats and dogs. Before vet school, she was a humane officer and director at Tompkins County SPCA. She has two married children and two delightful granddaughters, and currently shares her home with three dogs and two cats.

Licensed Veterinarian

Greta Jeitler, D.V.M.

Dr. Jeitler received her Bachelor of Arts from Alfred University and is a 2009 graduate of St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine.  After working in Wisconsin and Indiana, Dr. Jeitler moved back to New York to be closer to her family. She currently practices medicine and surgery at the CNY SPCA.  Dr. Jeitler is also working towards a degree in veterinary acupuncture. She is passionate about helping animals and families in need and considers herself lucky to be able to do so in many different ways.

Our Veterinarians

Licensed Veterinarian

Karen Schreiber, D.V.M.

Dr. Schreiber received her Bachelor from Oberlin College in 1993, and her DVM from Cornell in 1997. Originally from the Rochester area, Dr. Schreiber worked in Niagara Falls before coming to the Syracuse area.  She currently practices medicine and surgery at Chittenango Animal Hospital.  

Licensed Veterinarian

Rebecca Dallam, D.V.M.

Licensed Veterinarian

Joshua Moell, D.V.M.

Licensed Veterinarian

Victoria Kocsis, D.V.M.

Dr.  Kocsis received her Bachelor of Arts from Clarkson University in 205 where she majored in biology, biomolecular science and Liberal Arts Studies. She graduated veterinary school in 2019 from Texas A&M University. She currently works in central NY as a mixed animal practitioner. She joined SANS in early 2020 and has enjoyed her time being able to pursue her passions in small animal surgery.

Licensed Veterinarian

Danique Wortel, D.V.M.

Dr. Wortel graduated from Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016, with a focus on mixed animal medicine. Since graduation, she has been practicing small animal and laboratory animal medicine. She has a passion to help animals of all shapes and sizes and has recently expanded her reach to include surgery here at SANS. Her favorite hobbies include volleyball and battling her three dogs for bed space. She feels supremely lucky to be so involved in such a wonderful community.

(315) 834-0141

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